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MAY 2013 Issue #010

Laugh about it, then fix it.


Sometimes unexpected things happen and it may not be what you wanted or planned.

Poor supervisors will play the victim, give up, blame others or even the world.

Inspirational supervisors find something to laugh about and ...

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7-Part E-Course – Write Amazing Job Instructions

If you've ever had someone mess up because they didn't follow the instructions, you know how expensive it can be. Often, the root problem is not the person, it is the job instructions themselves. If they're not perfectly clear, your staff will guess before they ask questions, and that's when the mistakes happen. In this free 7-part e-course you'll learn the details of how to write amazing job instructions that will help your people get things right every time. Please join me by clicking on the link below.

Subscribe to our 7-Part E-course on Writing Amazing Job Instructions


Rod (not his real name) ran the paint shop in a plant making big machinery. As part of one of our training modules, he had been challenged to make an improvement in his area and so he decided to tackle the problem of not enough carts.

In fact, they had a lot of carts…that were not being used effectively. They were usually all filled with parts that had been painted, just waiting to be used. So Rod's team spent hours moving around carts, trying to find the right one they needed to use. Rod's first thought was to look for a place where he could unload the parts and store them till they were used.

But then he applied the Job Methods improvement procedure. He broke down the job, observing and taking apart every detail of the work. Then he questioned each detail. What popped out is when he asked the question, "When is the best time to do it?" about the detail of painting. The answer was ..."

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One task for all supervisors is to consistently make small improvements in how work is executed. These constant improvements will make the work easier, faster and safer for the workers.

Often when supervisors first look at an operation they don't see any opportunities. I remember one operator telling me that there was no waste in his operation: he got the material he'd be machining, got the tooling, installed the new tooling, put away the old tooling, adjusted the milling machine, machined the part, and put the part away. When he described it at that level there was no dispute. Every step was necessary.

His view changed when we challenged him to describe it in more detail. He realized that he was walking 40 steps to get tools – a step he hadn't even noted the first time. He also observed that it involved walking 80 steps ...

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Complications of Non-standard Instructions

I'm adamantly convinced that being able to assign work correctly and effectively will have an instant significant and beneficial impact on the performance of an organization. When the assignment isn't clear, too many things can go wrong. If you've ever run into a mistake because someone "didn't read the paperwork", you've seen the impact of work being assigned incorrectly.

The main focus in this article is the complications of non-standard instructions. Whether your firm makes large runs or small ones, requests from customers for a non-standard product are often the source of mistakes. It is too easy to get "into the habit" because ...

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Blog Posts

April 25, 2013
Don't prevent conflict. Why?

March 24, 2013

March 22, 2013
In just those five comments I learned so much about his supervisor ...

Upcoming Seminar

Seminar: THREE CRITICAL SKILLS to improve your quality and deal with your skill shortages.

Hugh Alley will be presenting a seminar at the EPTECH show June 20, 2013.

In a world of frequent product changes and a shortage of skilled people, getting people producing accurately and up to speed fast is important for any manufacturer. In the world of electronics where product life cycles are very short, it is essential. In this presentation, Hugh will describe three skills for management that often cut training time for new skills by a third or more. Deceptively simple, these powerful tools deliver a fast payback, and let your supervisors and front-line managers achieve the results you want.

If you would like to attend please register at www.firstlinetraining.ca/EPTECH.

Enter our CONTEST

Tell us how you made a difference in your organization through training, process improvement or by dealing with a problem performance effectively. Each issue we'll tell one story. If we use yours, you'll receive a $25 VISA gift card. Please submit your story by emailing us at info@firstlinetraining.ca.

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